$558 million and counting: Swifties’ bumper boost to Aussie economy


Research from RMIT University values the national economic impact of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour at more than half a billion dollars.
Taylor Swift performs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 16, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

Taylor Swift played to the biggest tour crowd of her life this weekend. Not once, but three times.

“96,000 people the first night, 96,000 people the second night, 96,000 people tonight. All of that, those are all the biggest shows I’ve ever played on a tour and you did it three times,” Swift told the sold-out crowd at the MCG on Sunday night.

“Melbourne, you are the love of my life. I cannot believe you, what have you done,” Swift said.

The love between Swift and her Swifties undoubtedly goes both ways. Her fans travelled from far and wide to attend the first local shows of the Eras tour, spending up big on more than just access to Australia’s largest stadium.

“$900 of spending on tickets, accommodation, travel, merchandise and dining per person,” estimates Angel Zhong, an Associate Professor of Finance at RMIT University.

Zhong is the interim head of the finance department and specialises in empirical asset pricing and behavioural finance. At $900 per head, and 620,000 tickets sold to Australian shows, Zhong estimates the economic value to the Australian economy is north of half a billion.

“The total injection directly into the Australian economy as a whole, is at least $558 million,” says Zhong. “The economic impact will likely extend beyond New South Wales and Victoria, positively affecting the entire country.”

“Logistical needs – transportation, accommodation, catering, and security – create opportunities for businesses nationwide.”

Angel Zhong, RMIT Finance Professor

Zhong says that the spend on merchandise goes beyond just fans who are attending the shows.

“The tour’s merchandise sales and associated spending aren’t confined to the concert venues. Fans from all over Australia may purchase merchandise online or from local retailers, contributing to economic activity in various regions.”

There is also demand created from industries that support concerts like Eras.

“Suppliers and service providers from different states may benefit from contracts and partnerships associated with the tour. Logistical needs – transportation, accommodation, catering, and security – create opportunities for businesses nationwide,” says Zhong.

The academic researcher says that international headlines surrounding the record-breaking Melbourne gigs could fuel future tourism to Australia’s golden shores.

Courtesy Instagram: @pagesix

“The extensive media coverage and publicity surrounding Swift’s concerts in Australia can enhance the country’s global visibility as a tourist destination. This increased exposure can attract not only concert-goers but also other travellers interested in exploring Australia’s diverse offerings,” says Zhong.

Not to mention international Eras tour attendees who may now stay to see other attractions. Zhong estimates that 2% of concert-goers fall into this category.

“International tourists may also take the opportunity to travel around Australia. We expect additional economic impact from international tourists, who are expected to spend at least another $3 million travelling.”


Estimated benefit to Sydney and Melbourne

While there are reports of $1.2 billion in economic benefit to Melbourne from the tour, those figures have been disputed.

The Eras tour now moves to Sydney, where Swift will play four shows at Accor Stadium.

KPMG released figures that estimate the combined value to Melbourne and Sydney at $140 million.

Business Sydney estimates the economic value from the Eras tour will be $113 million to Sydney alone.

“Airlines are putting on extra flights to bring Taylor Swift fans from interstate and from New Zealand.  An injection of visitors who are likely to make their visits a holiday experience is just what Sydney needs,” says Paul Nicolaou, the executive director of Business Sydney.

Taylor Swift performs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 16, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. Image: Getty
“Swifties” are seen arriving before she performs as part of her “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour” at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Image: Getty

The city should say a big thank you to Swift and Pink, who is also touring this month, Nicolaou says.

“Together and separately, they are an economic force of nature with hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafes and transport operators benefiting from increased demand.”

The total windfall to the Emerald city from both tours is estimated to be $130 million.

“In a year when major events will be a bit thin on the ground, Sydney is very fortunate to have two superstar performers such as Taylor Swift and Pink performing in our city,” says Nicolaou.

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